Intrauterine Device Insertion (Copper-Releasing IUD, ParaGard®)


During this procedure, the physician inserts a flexible plastic and copper Paragard® intrauterine device through the cervix and positions it within the uterus. Once in place, the Paragard® IUD will continuously release a small amount of copper into the womb. The ParaGard® IUD is an effective method of birth control, and can be left in the uterus for up to ten years.

How it Prevents Pregnancy

An IUD prevents fertilization by thickening the cervical mucus to keep sperm from entering the uterus. IUDs also cause changes in the uterus. Sperm that enter the uterus cannot survive, and egg cells cannot implant in the uterine wall.


In preparation for the procedure, the patient is positioned and a speculum is inserted into the vagina to expose the cervix. A local anesthetic may be administered, but in many cases, no anesthesia is needed. The cervix is cleansed with an antiseptic wash.

Placing the Device

The physician carefully guides a thin, flexible insertion tube containing the ParaGard® device through the opening of the cervix and up into the uterus. Once it is positioned properly, the ParaGard® device is deployed. The plastic arms of the support frame expand to keep it positioned securely within the uterus. The physician withdraws the insertion tube and trims the two thin threads attached to the bottom of the device that hang out the cervical opening. These threads will be used to remove the device in the future.

End of Procedure and Aftercare

When the procedure is complete, the instruments are removed and the patient is allowed to go home. The physician will provide specific aftercare instructions. The ParaGard® device will release copper continuously while it is in place, and it can be left in the uterus for up to ten years. After that period of time, a physician will remove the device and, if desired, replace it with a new one. The ParaGard device can be removed by a physician at any time to allow normal conception.